REVIEW from Faltered Heart Reviews

I was reviewed by Misao from Faltered Heart Reviews on 01/09/06. All of my comments about the review are in boxes, like this one below.
Overall opinion: Unfortunately, I barely got anything out of the Presentation part. It didn't show that the reviewer had a good knowledge of coding, yet my code was still criticized. The Content part was helpful and thorough though. It helped me realize that I didn't have enough detail and that some parts were confusing. I used much of that in this site's revamp. I'd give this review a 4 out of 5 on rating.

Review for Dark Abyss

Upon entering your site, I am greeted with an altogether good-looking layout; very simple and clean. I like the vertical flip position of the anime characters, it adds an unique touch and it is well blended with the motion blur effect of the windowpane background. It certainly matches your layoutís overall theme. Not to mention, the page all but takes two seconds to load!

Presentation

Always a plus to make sure that your layout is compatible across all browser resolutions. However, your coloured scrollbars wonít show up in any other browsers besides Internet Explorer (I don't know whether you knew this beforehand or not). I think it would be safer if you include a sentence in your introductory briefing about browser requirement.
I did know that, but colored scrollbars will not break the site in other browsers even if they don't show up.
After scrolling down to the bottom of the page, I realize that your updates have accumulated on your index page for well past a year, and the site itself hasnít been updated for over half a year. It would be more thoughtful to delete your old update entries, and perhaps display only the three most recent. If you prefer to keep an archive of your updates, try moving it off to a separate page, and link that under your "site" category. As for navigation, even though it is organized, it looks kind of float-y. You specifically design your layout with a narrow grey vertical column for your links, and so you should use it as the way it is. What I mean by that is to align your links closer to the column borders, rather than in the middle. It looks out of place. It wouldn't look so bad if the links were centred, rather than right aligned.

I see that you incorporate quite a bit of divider layers and tables in your HTML. Honestly, the divider layers are not necessary. It would simplify your HTML a great deal if you just use tables, but since this is not the case, I will just comment on your current coding. First off, since you already have an external style sheet, there is no need to include all those attributes into your body tag. Simply stick them into your existing style sheet file as:
Unfortunately, I kind of sucked at coding layouts back then, but there were reasons for all of the things you saw. The dividers were to make the layout. The tables were to format certain areas of the layout that I didn't know how to do in CSS at that time. Tables-only would not simplify it. Dividers-only would since I'd keep the semantics in there, and much of the code could be moved to an external stylesheet.
body {
background: #000000 URL(ver3_bg.gif) repeat-y;
color: #808080;
font-family: verdana;
font-size: 11px;
line-height: 15px;
margin: 0;
padding: 0;

It probably would be a better idea to change the colour of your hover links; it would be easier to distinguish link from text if I accidentally hover over a link without realizing it. Also, you have the "body" specification twice in your style sheet. That is incorrect. You only should specify body once along with all the attributions (like the modified coding above and the additional scrollbar attributes). The attributes for paragraph, italics, bold, underline, etc. then can share one specification. You can also delete from the style sheet. These attributes are useless in a style sheet.
True about the hover links. I should have done that.

The CSS is NOT incorrect. Put this into the W3C CSS validator:
   body { color: #FFF; }
   body { background: #000; }
It will completely validate. There was a reason for my duplicate body tags. I wanted to reduce duplicate coding for cleaner style.
Your first divider layer starts off with a z-index: 2. What happened to 0 and 1? Z-index is only used when you require one layer to overlap another layer by stacking objects according to source order. Since this isnít the case with your divider layer positioning, the z-index attribute is not required. Just simple delete it from your coding. I donít really understand the use of a counter if you set the opacity setting to 0, but the counter would make more sense if it is placed at the bottom of your navigation or above your updates, rather than beneath your long update archive. The extra <br> tags can be also be deleted from the bottom of your index page to eliminate the extra blank space at the bottom of your web page.
You're right; I did skip over 0 and 1, but it doesn't make the code any less valid. For example, it's common for Ajax calls that use overlapping windows to have extremely high z-indexes (like 1000), without having all the z-indexes before it. Perhaps it's out of habit, but I rarely ever use z-index 0 or 1, and this is not considered wrong.

The layers DO overlap each other. The content has about 10 lines of text that overlap the header image.

The counter was set to 0 opacity to attempt to hide it; I'll remove this. The <br>s were there on purpose to give space the text away from the bottom of the browser. I now know that this is a poor way of doing it though, and I've replaced it with padding.
I like your style of heading for each page; the heading itself in bold followed by more or less an explanation of the heading. You already show a separation of the heading and explanation by the text weight, but you could go one step further by sticking a colon or a semi-colon after the bolded heading.

True, I'll try that.

Content

Info - Short and very brief. I didn't learn too much from reading your STORY info except the theme of war and the names of two characters. You can do better so that readers have a good grasp on the plot, and are interested in the series after they read your synopsis. Make sure to include the reason war started, the roles each character play and their mission (stop war and make peace?), how Yushiro encounters Miharu, and elaborate on the main plot line to emphasize suspense.
I'll expand on that.
For CHARACTER, there is a grammar error where you try to warn readers of spoilers. Instead of "However, that in depth information also contains spoilers", it should be "Be warned, the in-depth character profiles contain spoilers." You must be careful in using the correct tense.
That wasn't a grammatical error. "Information" is singular, so using "contains" is correct. It is the correct tense.
On the main character page, you should have "...but are connected to each other in a past life; [this part of review edited out due to spoilers]. Your profiles are very short. Perhaps this is a rare anime series to gather information, but using what you know from watching the series, I am sure you can provide a little more information about each character besides their name, age, and a few sentences. A few profiles such as Misuzuís, is more after creating readerís own interpretation than explaining the character. Instead of writing "itís possible theyíre more connected than most think.." explain and provide proof from the series of how they are connected. The 'more' links you have for two of your characters are not necessary. The information you offer in the POP-up window is very brief, and can be incorporated into the main profile. The usage of image (and non-usage) is inconsistent. Your other characters page only provides images for the Self Defense Force and two others. The last three characters do not have images. The images on this page are coloured whereas the others are black and white manga scans. Try to stick with one style; coloured anime screenshots or black and white manga scans.
I originally made it brief to stay away from spoilers, but I understand your criticism on this. I'll work on getting more depth on them (while remaining spoiler-free). But, I actually cannot provide more on Misuzu's connection to Yushiro. It is a great spoiler that doesn't get uncovered until the end of the series. (The part I edited out of the review is another big spoiler that doesn't show until the end.)

I understand that the image usage is inconsistent, and I actually wish they weren't. I am limited on the images I can use though. The black and white ones are the only ones I have for the family. The ones without images don't have images because... well, I don't have images for them. I'll see if I can burn my VHS onto DVDs to take screenshots.
Although it is thoughtful to include a IN DEPTH section to explain the more confusing elements of Gasaraki, the explanations do very little in what they are suppose to do. You did wonderful in explaining how The Dance of Gasaraki is done, but you fail to explain the significance of the dance. The waves that are summoned and falling from the sky are the first step of the dance, but what does it do? What is the second step?
I see. I'll go back to that and clarify things.
I donít like how your DEFINITIONS are structured. It is much too confusing. In order to learn what a Gasaraki is, I had to read the definition, then the definition of three other terms, one of which leads me to yet another term. Try not to structure it like a game of tag. Get straight to the point. For example, "Gasaraki is like a god to kugutsu clans, people (kai) whose body and mind are specially harmonized, allowing them to summon the [supernatural]. It is also a power that can be summoned only by those in a kugutsu clan. With the summoning of Gasaraki comes the birth of a kugai, a machine resembling a living being that must be operated by a kai."
Point taken. I'll rewrite this page.
The verses on your EPISODE pages donít make any sense (to me), but they should be helpful and meaningful to fans of this series. The BUYING links are also quite useful (even more so if you had linked the actual page with the purchase information), but ĎPlanet Animeí is mislinked.
True, they are probably confusing to people who haven't seen Gasaraki. I want to write my own summaries, but have yet found the time. For now, the verses featured are the way the makers of Gasaraki have made episode previews.
Media - I am impressed that you went through the work of scanning IMAGES for your site, and they are good quality images. The only thing I didnít like is how the galleries open in a new window, and yet another new window when you click on the thumbnail. Your galleries are not overly large; therefore it can be displayed in the same format as all your information, to eliminate the number of window browsers. I expected more FAN STUFF. The section is very small, but can grow over time. For your fanfic, it would be helpful (not required) to include a small summary as a preview to the story.
Point taken about the galleries. This will be fixed.
I like how you include lyrics to your SONGS, but you do have a weird way of downloading. Your instructions are clear, but Yahoo is kind of slow. It might speed up downloading time by zipping the files. I notice that all your WALLPAPERS are taken from other wallpaper sites with credit. Although nice, it would be better if there were at least one made by you or a fan. You might want to check the link to Abstract Anime and Johnís Anime Desktop, because they are both broken. Not many fansites have WINAMP SKINS for download, so this is a plus. I like them, but the previews seem a little large; they can be cropped by about 50% or not at all if you donít feel that it is too large.
Zip files should be used for archiving multiple files, not single ones. It would only cause more inconvenience. I can't upload them to Yahoo anyway.
Site - Your ABOUT site page is very thorough in explaining everything a reader would need to learn about the site. The WEBMISTRESS page is extremely short, but the link to your profile is extensive. I understand why you would make a separate long in-depth profile of yourself to use for all your websites. I guess this anime is not all that well known since there are not that many LINKS. Since your link out list is somewhat short, it wouldnít be a bad idea to use link ware graphics (if the site offer any) rather than text links. It makes the page look less wordy. You might have been typing a little too fast and left out a word in one of your sentences found on the DISCLAIMER page. "Gasaraki and anything related to it on this site are copyrighted by their owners and are only used for personal usage."

Final Statement

I can't say that I learned a lot about Gasaraki from the site, but the visit is enjoyable. Overall, the site has good organization and a fair amount of information. However the content of the site is lacking in quality. You could definitely use a little more in terms of both clarity and depth.
I'll definitely work on my written content. Thanks for the review.
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